We sat across from each other at the table on the back porch, a pile of peat planters on one side and a stack of seeds on the other.
Jon perfected his technique by putting the soil in a bowl and spooning it into the small rectangular planters. Half full of soil he sprayed it to moisten then add two seeds, mostly Zinnia, but Cilantro, Basil, and Batchelor Buttons too. Then another spoon full of dirt and more water.
My method was a little messier as I scooped a handful of soil and sifted it between my thumb and fingers over the ten-pack of peat pots.
Then we wrote the name of the plant we hoped would sprout on each ten-pack and put it in the little portable greenhouse.
The greenhouse is as tall as me with four shelves for starter plants and a plastic cover with a zipper door. We moved it three times already and still aren’t sure it’s in the best place.
I never wanted to have children, but when Jon and I first got together I was in my mid-forties, and for the first time in my life I understood why two people in love would want to have a child together.
For me, it was the feeling of wanting to create something with Jon that came from the love that we had for each other.
We never gave birth to a child. But I feel as though through our art and the farm we have hand-made a life that nurtures creativity and gives birth to many small sparks of life.
That’s what I felt as Jon and I carefully separated the tiny seeds and patiently placed them in the small cups of soil, laying a thin blanket of earth over them, and providing them with the water and sunlight they need to grow.
We did this quietly, talking little, which is unusual for us.
I worried the work would be tedious and was ready to leave the bulk of it for Jon to do. But after filling 100 peat cups it only made me want to plant more seeds. So we went to the Hardware Store and bought two hundred more peat cups to fill.
That’s when I realized that planting the seeds with Jon felt more like a meditation or a prayer than a task to be completed.
When we were done and looked at our little greenhouse full of life waiting to come into being, I thought that we had done it again.
Even if none of the seeds ever sprouted, we had created a beautiful afternoon together full of peace and the hope of life.
My Kitchenware Potholders are all done and for sale in my Etsy Shop.
I have six still available, a teacup, coffee pots, a jello mold, and two sugar bowls that I turned into Ice Cream Sundaes.
All these little drawings came from silhouettes of kitchenware on the border of a vintage linen towel. The details on the cups and pots were faded so I drew my own using my free-motion sewing machine.
All my Kitchenware Potholders are $20 + $5 shipping for one or more. You can see them all and buy them here.
“…Just throw away all thoughts of imaginary things, and stand firm in that which you are.”
I started putting my own stickers on my dish soap bottles when our Co-op began carrying bulk liquid soap.
I think I got used to having a label I liked to look at when Dawn dish soap started putting pictures of birds on their labels, after the Exxon Valdes Oil Spill. (Dawn soap was used to help clean the oil off some of the birds caught in the spill).
But the bottles of dish soap I saved to refill didn’t have ducks on their label. And the label was so big on one of the bottles that my stickers wouldn’t cover it. So I cut a piece of my I Am Enough packing tape and stuck it on the bottle.
Now whenever I do the dishes, I’ll be reminded that I Am Enough.
I don’t usually take pictures of flowers, but the Magnolia’s opened up this evening and with the sun behind them, lighting up the flowers and fuzzy buds, I was tempted to try and capture what I saw.
There are many times when I take a picture and it looks nothing like what I’m seeing. Those are the photos that don’t make it onto my blog.
But I feel like this time the picture I took expresses just what I was feeling as I gazed on our Magnolia tree.
I feel like my new sewing machine talks to me. “Let’s get to work,” she says. She’s practical and eager.
I always had a hard time sewing small pieces of fabric together on my Viking. If I started too close to the edge of the fabric, the needle would push the fabric into the bobbin case, or feed dogs wouldn’t pull it along.
But my Janome Sewist is up for anything. Now working with the small scraps of fabric that Hannah sent me is a pleasure.
I made a bunch more potholders today and plan on finishing up the Kitchenware Potholders I designed last week tomorrow. I’ll put them up for sale in my Etsy Shop in the afternoon (I don’t like not having any potholders in my Etsy Shop) and work on these new potholders next week.
Hannah sent me some pictures of the shopping bags she made from the feed bags I sent her. They’re for sale at “The Rusty Button Shop” in East Aurora NY. Hannah also has a couple of shopping bags for sale on the Whispering Pines Farm Website.
I think it a lovely exchange of fabric scraps and feed bags.
I’m loving my new sewing machine. I took a bag of scraps that Hannah sent me and started sewing potholders.
The day was filled with interruptions but I was able to get some made in between it all. And now I’m beat from Bellydancing so I’m off to bed.
I made room on my desk then pulled my new Janome sewing machine out of the box. I barely had to read the directions but was glad I did when I saw the extra spool pin that can be used to wind a bobbin without taking the tread out of the machine.
I’d never seen that before, it was a nice surprise.
I did a few practice runs then pulled out a bag of tiny old fabric scraps and muslin to work with.
I knew working small would slow me down. That would give me a chance to get to know my new machine. Because as simple as it is, it still takes getting used to.
I haven’t worked on a mechanical machine in years. So it took me some time to figure out the right amount of pressure to put on the foot pedal. My other sewing machines both have a speed button along with varying pressure on the foot pedal.
I also had to get used to raising and lowering the pressure foot manually. And the self-threader is easier to use than my Viking but not as easy as my Brother. There’s not even the option of an automatic thread cutter.
But it really didn’t take long for me to make the adjustments. I guess it’s like riding a bike. I hadn’t forgotten what I learned when I first started sewing and had been doing for years before getting my computerized machines.
Unlike my old Singer, which chugs along, my new machine has speed and power. Can a machine be grounded? Because that’s how this one feels. It’s solid and purposeful. And it sounds as good as it feels.
I was thinking of getting an extension platform for it, but I think I’ll wait on that. I’ll make a quilt first and see how it feels without.
I can’t wait to use it again tomorrow.
I started my Corona Kimono a year ago today. That first entry had sheep in it and the words “low hum of menace“.
It’s a different world today. Even with how hopeful things are now, I also feel a little ragged. Like the year has worn me down a bit. I hadn’t really thought of it this way until I looked at that first entry, which actually looks more composed, more peaceful compared to the one I did today.
I don’t think I can bring up the exact feeling of fear I had back then, but I can see the relief at having a place to express myself in that first drawing.
As an artist, the Corona Kimono became the thing that I was able to do during the pandemic.
What I really wanted to do was to help in some way. This was more a selfish desire than an altruistic one. “Doing” always makes me feel better than not doing.
Especially during difficult times.
Besides making masks, and being there for the people in my life, and trying to put positive things out into the world on my blog there was little I could do.
Creating my Corona Kimono has helped give my life as an artist meaning during this time.
Looking back at all the entries, I clearly see that some are rougher, more raw than others. I look at some and wish I could erase them, do them over.
But then if my Corona Kimono is truly a journal I guess that’s to be expected.
My last few entries have sometimes come a month apart. But that too reflects that the urgency has diminished.
This morning a bunch of phrases that arose from the pandemic and have become a familiar part of our vocabulary flashed across my YouTube channel. I quickly wrote them down thinking they might become a part of my Corona Kimono.
I’m not sure if I wrote them down because I thought I’d forget them, or if it’s because they are so much a part of life, I no longer think of them as being something other than a part of everyday life.
I guess that’s a good reason to include them.
It was a shipping and paperwork day for me. And now that it’s all done, it feels really good.
My email which had piled up is almost up to date. And fourteen of the fifteen Robin on the Haybale potholders are in the mail on the way to their new homes.
I finished up my March paperwork so it’s ready for my bookkeeper Anne and caught up to date on April.
I made a few phone calls and paid some bills. Feels good to be all caught up, even if it only lasts a day or so.
I’m never comfortable when I have people’s money for more than a couple of days and haven’t sent out whatever it is they bought from me.
Tomorrow I hope to get into my studio first thing in the morning, pull out my new sewing machine and introduce myself. Maybe working on a few potholders is a good way to get started.